Email is a highly preferred form of communication and thus contains a lot of personal information which is convenient and easily accessible for users. But as more and more personal information is stored in email accounts, they are a good target for hackers and those who’d want to obtain your personal information for malicious or personal gain.
Here are some tips to help you upgrade your security and keep your personal information safe.
Be on Alert for Phishing
Phishing emails used to be easily spotted from a mile away. They came with red flags—improper grammar, no clear sender, etc. However, phishing is getting more sophisticated all the time. Emails that appear like they’re from your bank, phone service provider, PayPal, etc., can all be duplicated.
To double-check the sender, verify the URL by hovering over the link. If the link does not match the portrayed sender’s information, do not click the link. It could take you to a page that looks identical to the expected page and could be hiding malware or ways of obtaining personal information. Stay alert, and don’t be alarmed by what the email says. Don’t let an urgent-sounding email pressure you into giving away your personal details to an untrusted source.
Allow an IT Company to Increase Your Security
If your information is highly confidential or personal, especially with regards to business or financial details, it may be helpful to hire an IT company to increase your security. A professional IT company can provide managed IT services, which can supply more complex security to your accounts, furthering your protection.
Use Strong Passwords
One common mode of hacking is to guess at popular passwords. Oftentimes, all a hacker needs is your email address to use as a username. Due to this, you need to ensure your password is a good one. That means nothing like password2, abc123, or using your birthday.
Usually, IT experts recommend a strong password be original and uses a combination of special characters, letters, and numbers. The more unusual the password, the less chance there is of being hacked.
Consider More Than One Account
Using only one account for everything may be convenient, but the benefits may not be worth the risks. If your only account, possibly holding work, personal, and financial details, is compromised, you’re in a bit of a mess. Use multiple email accounts to spread out your information and decrease the risk of it all becoming compromised at one time.
Sometimes email accounts will use a different email address as a recovery option or a form of multi-step verification, so it’s important to have more than one. Use separate passwords for each account and use each account for different things. Try a mix of Gmail, hotmail, outlook, and other email service providers to further spread out your information. Splitting up your email accounts benefits you in more ways than just safety—organization is a huge benefit as well.
Keep an Eye on Your Account
You might have seen it before: a warning that someone has signed into your account from a different location. It could just be you using your account from a different device or an unfamiliar location. But if you get a warning that you think is odd, change your password right away.
Many emails have the option to log out of your email on all devices when you change your password, and this can restrict access for your hacker. Checking your logs from time to time can help you to ensure there hasn’t been any unauthorized access. Don’t allow other people or businesses access to your inbox.
Keep Everything Updated
If there are updates to your email software, make sure you enact them right away. Updates can sometimes include improved security against newly developed phishing and malware. If you’re sending sensitive data, consider encrypting the message. You could zip the document inside using a strong password, then send a separate email with the password to decrease the chance of interception.